Rouhani: Blacklisting Revolutionary Guards a 'mistake'

Iranian President warns United States against blacklisting the Revolutionary Guards, says it would be a “mistake beyond mistakes”.

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Elad Benari, Canada,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani
Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday warned the United States against blacklisting the Revolutionary Guards, Reuters reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to decertify Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers this week and add its Revolutionary Guards military force to Washington’s black list of terrorist groups.

During a cabinet meeting shown on state television on Wednesday, Rouhani said U.S. action against the Guards would be a “mistake beyond mistakes”.

“They think that the Guards are a military entity. The Revolutionary Guards are not a military entity. They’re in the heart of the people. The Revolutionary Guards, in all the days of danger, have defended our national interests,” he said, according to Reuters.

“We’re one society. We’re Iran. There are no differences between different factions in confronting the plots of our enemies,” stressed the Iranian president.

Rouhani's warning marks the third time in recent days that Iranian officials have warned Trump against blacklisting the powerful Revolutionary Guards.

On Tuesday, Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stressed that “all options are on the table” if the U.S. goes ahead with the move.

A day earlier, a spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry promised a “crushing” response if Trump decertifies the deal and blacklists the Revolutionary Guards.

“We are hopeful that the United States does not make this strategic mistake,” the spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.

“If they do, Iran’s reaction would be firm, decisive and crushing and the United States should bear all its consequences,” he added.

Qasemi's warning came a day after IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari warned that U.S. regional military bases would be at risk if further sanctions were passed on the IRGC.

“If the news is correct about the stupidity of the American government in considering the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group, then the Revolutionary Guards will consider the American army to be like Islamic State all around the world,” he threatened.

Rouhani's warning appears to mark a change of heart for him. The president, touted by the West as a “moderate”, won re-election in a landslide five months ago and, as part of his campaign, he repeatedly spoke out in public against the political influence of the Guards.

In recent days, however, it appears the threat of new action from Washington has prompted a public display of unity from the rival factions among Iran’s rulers.

“Today, the president of America has created conditions where Iran is more united than ever. Today, those who oppose the nuclear deal and those who support it are side by side. We all have one voice,” Rouhani said, according to Reuters.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)








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